- Blogging 101… Blogging for Dummies
Image copy-pasted from myfhamortgageblog.com
A number of readers have emailed me over time, asking me questions like, what inspires you? Well, life does. Wherever I go, there is always something worth blogging about. Whatever happens in my life can always be put into a certain way so that it’s interesting to read. As you should already know: it’s not the story, it’s how the story is told.
That being said, most of the emailers (if I may call them so) wanted advice on how to blog, what to blog, and such like tips. I’ve decided to compile my top ten blogging rules:
Blog about something you are passionate about. Be it sports, the weather, your wife and kids, your job, your life. That way, you won’t run out of steam over time, you can write for years and years about your subject/main theme. Sometimes you may want to blog about an event/show/elections or anything temporary. That is also okay, some blogs are only relevant for a time. I choose to write about my life because as long as am alive, there will always be something to write about.
2. Regular Updates
Make sure you update your blog frequently, either weekly or bi-weekly. Unless you are very very interesting, no one is going to come back more than twice if they come and find the same stuff they left. Also, ensure there is a subscription button on the blog so people don’t have to come to your site to check for updates. Blog updates will be sent directly to their mail.
3. Writer’s Block: What to Do
I just talked about regular updates above. So what do you do when you have a writer’s block or you’re too busy to sit down to write a proper post? Well, wordpress helps. Google too. Just search these two sites and you’ll get tones of advice.
Personally, I like to get a captivating picture, like the one below, or I copy-paste an interesting email forward, such as this or this.
Tiger Woods stars in Broke Black Golfer
So you start a blog and you expect to get 1000 hits per minute. It’s not gonna happen that way. Unless you’re Paris Hilton posting a sex tape. Don’t worry if at first, there is no traffic to your blog. It takes time (even a whole year) to build traffic to sustainable levels. Do not give up if you find no one visited your blog for a week. As I said, it’s all about passion. If you’re passionate about something, you’ll continue writing about it even if no one is reading.
5. Motivation: Reason for blogging
If you’re looking to make money from blogging, I think you’re choosing the wrong hobby. If making money from your blog is your main reason for blogging… I don’t have words for you. Honestly, I blog because I just have to write, and right now, I wouldn’t dream of putting up ads on my blog.
However, I’m not saying you can’t make money from blogging. I’m just saying that’s like a side benefit, a byproduct of good blogging. I know money makes the world go round, so find a day job.
The main challenge in blogging is generating traffic. First you let your friends know, then they’ll tell their friends who’ll tell their friends. There is also facebook and twitter, which are very important in generating publicity to your blog. You can have facebook automatically import your new posts as you publish them. Share the link on twitter and tag people if you have to.
Reading other people’s blogs and leaving comments on the posts you read together with a link back to your blog is also a good idea, kind of like a network of blogs, you know? My earliest readers were other bloggers.
When your readers leave comments, it’s only fair to respond to them. That way, they feel appreciated and loved. Okay, maybe just appreciated. Even the haters, I think the moment you have your first hate comment, that’s when you know you’re becoming a successful blogger. Provide an email address so that readers who want to say something to you can do so.
Do not take credit for something you did not write. If you copy-paste from someone else, or lift photographs from a certain site, please give credit to the original authors/creators. Do not copy the format or the way some other blogger does their writing, bring something fresh and new to the blogging scene and we’ll keep reading your work.
9. Platform/Theme/ Layout
Choose a blogging platform that’s awesome, like wordpress. Or blogger. Or I don’t know what else. Choose a short but memorable URL- that’s the address of the blog.
When picking a theme, find one that’s easy to read. One that matches your theme. If you’re doing gothic poems, perhaps a dark theme would be suitable. If you’re writing about sunshine and sugar and spice, choose something nice and bright.
The layout should encourage readers to explore your blog more. Have a calendar with recent posts, and an archive/tags/categories so readers can find something else to read apart from the main page. Experiment with the widgets and pick those that work best for you.
10. Be interesting
I saved the best for last. Ultimately, the only reason people will keep reading your work is because you are interesting. There are so many boring bloggers out there… I feel like shooting myself every time I have to force myself to even go past the first paragraph. Keep your posts short if you can’t be interesting. Longer posts can only be read if there is enough suspense/good flow. Your friends will lie to you, saying you’re a wonderful writer but you can tell the truth with time. Someone out of nowhere, someone you don’t know, will email you/leave a comment telling you they enjoy reading your working. If it happens more than 5 times, you can be convinced you’re interesting. Use pictures to add flavor to your posts.
That being said, I’d appreciate your feedback on this. If you have any more blogging rules/tips, you can leave a comment. Here’s to happy blogging.